Burn the Brightest

Maybe that conversation was the reason. Maybe it was the pure glee on Jo's face as she tapped her foot to the bluegrass music concert they'd gone to.

Maybe Edith's patience just finally wore out.

Whatever it was, sitting in Jo's car outside her own apartment building, she found herself saying instead of goodnight, "Do you want to come up? I've got ice cream."

Jo's expression tipped into almost exaggerated surprise for a moment, but she rallied fast, turning the engine off and reaching into the backseat for her jacket. "I've always said every good evening should end with ice cream."

They walked up the two flights of stairs to Edith's apartment in a silence that really didn't help her suddenly churning stomach or her nervous, hummingbird thoughts.

They could just have ice cream, she rationalized. It had maybe sounded a bit too much like a come on for just friends, but she knew Jo would accept it if she gave a clear signal that the evening would be over after ice cream. Just because they hadn't ever been to each other's apartments didn't have to mean anything. They'd been friends for the better part of two months. It was about time they extended it out of the purely public arena.

Except that, when she turned from locking the door behind them, Jo was right there, far too close for just friends, and her hand on Edith's wrist was soft but close. "Tell me I'm not misreading this," Jo murmured.

"You're not," Edith said. She took a deep breath and raised one hand to rest on Jo's shoulder, feeling the warmth of her skin under her thin shirt like an electric current.

"What happened to—" Jo started, and Edith tipped her head and kissed her before she could ask, before Edith could change her mind.

She hadn't fantasized about anything with Jo, not even kissing, had forced her mind away whenever it had drifted in that direction, and so the kiss didn't have anything to live up to. That didn't make it any less enjoyable. Jo's mouth was warm and soft, opening against Edith's, moving a little as Jo adjusted for a better angle. Edith let her eyes fall closed, tightening her grip on Jo's shoulder to keep her close, and kept kissing.

When they eventually drew apart, Jo had released Edith's wrist to slide her arms round Edith's waist, and they were pressed close together.

"Hmm," Jo said, warm and happy. She was smiling, none of the usual cocky edge, and Edith smiled back, ducking in for another kiss that became several kisses.

"Would it be," Jo began, drawing away to speak, then cutting herself off for another kiss, "presumptuous to ask if I get to see the bedroom?"

"You're the guest," Edith said. "It would be rude to say no."

"And you're very polite," Jo said solemnly, kissing Edith yet again.

It took them a very long time to actually make it that far.